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Jet JJP-12HH or Hammer A3-31 straight blade?

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Forum topic by JAMACA posted 12-30-2013 04:04 PM 3601 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


12-30-2013 04:04 PM

Hi folks,

My first post here, but have learned a ton reading over the years…

I’m looking to pull the trigger on one of the two jointer/planer combo machines in the subject. Price for the Jet is ~$3000 and the Hammer is ~$4000. Upgrading to the Hammer Silent Power blade simply isn’t an option.

The real question is would you opt for the helical head on a lesser machine? Or the better machine with straight blades? I’m leaning towards the Jet given it’s got the HH and at a substantially lower cost. But that’s also what scares me as I believe that you often get what you pay for…

I’m a weekend warrior that wants to start buying rough wood. I don’t have a jointer or planer today.

Thanks!
Jared


22 replies so far

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MJCD

483 posts in 1834 days


#1 posted 12-30-2013 05:15 PM

A couple things to consider.

1) The ‘insert-based’ helical cutter head is not the ‘be-all, end-all’ when it comes to Jointer/Planer knives: they do stay sharp longer, but they don’t necessarily give you the same smoothness as a straight blade; also, they tend to use more power than the straight-blade – this is important if you’re rough-smoothing a wide board (face planning) on the jointer; but not a factor if you’re just doing the board edge. The Felder (Hammer’s parent) Silent Power has a highly-engineered geometry – different from the Byrd and the Powermatic.
2) Let Felder know of your decision process – they may not want to lose the sale due to the upgrade, alone.
3) If you go with the Felder, you will have the choice of Felder’s or Tersa’s cutterhead: the Tersa is excellent, and coming off patent protection.
4) The Jet will serve you well, no doubt; however, I’ll say – being a Hammer owner myself – there is a quality about the machines that becomes more apparent as you use them.
MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#2 posted 12-30-2013 05:30 PM

If Tersa is coming out of patent, blade costs may come
down. I have a Tersa on my jointer and it’s really nice.
You can run 1 or 2 carbide knives in a Tersa head and
HSS in the other slots. The knives index perfectly
in the cutterhead and take about 30 seconds to
change one or shift it to eliminate a raised line in
the workpiece caused by nicked knives.

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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


#3 posted 12-30-2013 05:33 PM

Thanks, guys…

Funny that the Tersa blades came up so quickly… i spoke with Minimax this morning. The FS30 is definitely an option, too and is stocked locally for me near Atlanta. Their pricing (with Tersa) would be similar to a A3-31 with straight blades all said and done.

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SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3048 days


#4 posted 12-30-2013 05:46 PM

I would definitely opt for hammer or a used felder rather than a jet, my 2 cents.They are superb quality all-round,and I am not a big jet fan anyway.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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MJCD

483 posts in 1834 days


#5 posted 12-30-2013 07:09 PM

Minimax’s are good machines – and a capable alternative to Hammer: both machines would be a step-up (maybe several steps-up) from the Jet. I have shied away from Minimax – their user forum is not as active as Felder’s – (I’m a member); the ownership (split between SCM (Italy, and a global industrial machine player) and a US-partner) seems less innovative and supportive than Felder (IMO). That being said, still – very good machines. Felder’s fit & finish comes at a cost, relative to Minimax’s core – very functional – machines. You state the very good aspect of Minimax, they are locally stocked – manufactured either in Italy or here, and have been in business for a very long time: there has to be a lot of substance for them compete, on-par, with the Hammer/Felder machines. Another aspect of Minimax, relative to Felder, is they tend to use common sizes and non-proprietary (to them) consumables.
MJCD
.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#6 posted 12-30-2013 07:24 PM

What are the reasons that led you to combination machines? I dislike machine changeovers, so I opted for a separate jointer and planer. Was it to get a wider jointer, or space consideration?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


#7 posted 12-30-2013 07:55 PM

Honestly, the most consistently good reviews are for the Hammer and Minimax combos. As I look at the 8” jointer market, its basically Grizzly, Jet, Powermatic (Shop Fox, Steel City, too I guess). I just really don’t want Grizzly. As you get up there in quality, the jointer ends up being $2000 and the planer does too. So you spend the same money for machines that get seemingly mixed reviews. I could probably fit two machines, but if I can spend the same money, get a machine that nobody has anything bad to say about, and it takes up less space… seems like a good deal.

I’m really open to thoughts about this take on things. How would you spend $3000-$4000 on separate jointer and planer?

Thanks!

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1411 days


#8 posted 12-30-2013 08:46 PM

I would look at the grizzly for 2k.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-Jointer-Planer/G0633

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pintodeluxe

4854 posts in 2276 days


#9 posted 12-30-2013 08:55 PM

Well, if you are content with an 8” jointer, you might check the used market. I purchased a like-new Delta DJ20 for a song. It is a solid parallelogram jointer similar to the Grizzly 490, and the Shopfox clone. If you went straight knives on a separate jointer, that would leave you a sizeable budget for a quality planer with helical head.

Best of luck with your decision.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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jonah

687 posts in 2762 days


#10 posted 12-30-2013 09:00 PM

No US style separate jointer is going to compare to the euro style Hammer and Minimax machines you are looking at. I’d do what MJCD suggests and try to bargain for a cheaper upgrade on the Felder.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8302 posts in 3111 days


#11 posted 12-30-2013 09:02 PM

You might want to look at the 16” combo from Baileigh. Looks
like a lot of machine for the money.

Grizzly has a 16” J/P model too, made in Germany, or so the
Grizzly site implies.

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MJCD

483 posts in 1834 days


#12 posted 12-30-2013 09:51 PM

Loren, I’ll take a contrarian view on Baileigh – these are un-tested machines, with few substantive reviews, and none that I’ve seen which provide a one-year re-visit.

For something out of the box – Craigslist should have a significant number of 6” Delta/Powermatic jointers at great prices, and the DeWalt DW735 is a great planer for the money. For under a $1,000 you could have a very functional solution. This approach would be a ‘push it ‘till it fails’: my 6” Powermatic has served me well – I do sometimes miss the extra width, but I deal with it.

MJCD

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


#13 posted 12-30-2013 09:59 PM

I’ve been checking Craigslist religiously for about a month. Nothing much to speak of except for a Grizz 8” that would be a bear to move myself!

I’ve been looking at the ~$1000 short-mid term option. I actually bought a 735 with that plan in mind (still unopened). But it still represents wasted time and money assuming I make the move to a better solution in the not-too-distant future. Its nice to have options, and I really just need to choose one!

Keep the thoughts coming. I got final pricing from Felder on the A3-31. Its a little more than I’d thought with shipping…

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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


#14 posted 01-02-2014 03:26 PM

The Minimax is out of the running at this point… On top of the sale price (which was great), I’d have had to add the Euro guard ($195) and have a 30A circuit run. Plus their sale ran out on 12/31.

I’m planning at this point to go with the standard Jet combo machine (straight blades). I think it will serve me well for some time, at which point I will be able to spring for the machine I really want… the Hammer with Silent Power heads.

Good news is that Woodcraft has a 15% off Jet sale this weekend, so the timing is good. Should be out the door for the JJP-12 right at $2000 including taxes.

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JAMACA

9 posts in 1072 days


#15 posted 01-06-2014 03:24 AM

Placed the order for the JJP-12 yesterday… I’m excited now that it’s finalized!

I’d really like to have the $5K Hammer with spiral head, but since that’s not in the cards right now I opted for what I feel is the best use of $2,000. I honestly was open to separates, but it’s hard to find models that have similarly reviews/feedback as the Jet combo without spending $3000+. And clearly having 12” of jointing capacity is nice versus 6-8”.

At some point, if I “outgrow” the Jet or if my capabilities improve such that it becomes the weak link in my output, I’ll upgrade…

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